I was almost born in church…literally. My mother went into labor during the Sunday night service (yes, when I was born most churches still had those). This had the makings of a really cool story of how God called me to pastoral ministry, but my parents managed to make it to the hospital (after the service). As a pastor’s kid, I was in church pretty much whenever the doors were open. When I became a pastor, the same held true. For all my time in church, though, I didn’t imagine dying in church…until a few weeks ago.
About ten minutes into the pastor’s message, I began to shake – and it definitely was not a Pentecostal experience! My skin went cold, but I was sweating. My heart was racing and I began to hyperventilate. I have to interject here that I like to consider myself an intellectual, so I was trying to think through things carefully before reacting. In this case, I forced myself not to make a scene (thankfully I was sitting in the back row), and to think about what was happening. I came to the conclusion I was having a panic attack, and that some deep-breathing and desperate clutching of the pew would soon relieve my symptoms. Sure enough, within a few minutes, I was breathing normally and my mind was rehearsing the event, trying to figure out what triggered it. Here’s what I came up with… Read the rest of this entry »